The term “world class” is applied too liberally to goals. But Holbeach United’s Rob Hughes can now safely say that he has one on his CV.
The midfielder notched a truly phenomenal effort from the halfway line in Saturday’s 4-2 cup win at Eynesbury Rovers.
He said: “It’s certainly the best goal I’ve scored and I’ll never score another one as good.”
To put it into perspective, Tigers boss John Chand rates it only behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s outrageous bicycle kick against England and Marco Van Basten’s brilliant volley for Holland at Euro 88 in his personal favourites.
Hughes takes up the explanation of his right-footed wonder goal at the rather humble surroundings of the Alfred Hall Memorial Ground: “The ball went over my head and on to Tids (Andrew Tidswell).
“He was the furthest player forward and I thought he’d been fouled to be honest.
“Then suddenly the ball broke to me. It sat up nicely and I hit it on the volley.
“I thought it was going to hit the bar but at the last moment it just managed to dip under.
“I just stood there afterwards – I couldn’t believe it had gone in but then the centre backs were leaping on me.”
Hughes (26), who joined the Tigers from King’s Lynn Town last month, revealed that some sly homework had helped him land that extraordinary 27th-minute goal.
He said: “I try to have a couple of shots from distance during the season.
“I always have a little look during a game to see where the keeper likes to stand and I’d noticed on Saturday that this keeper had been around the penalty spot area once or twice.
“I’d tried a couple from about 30 yards earlier.”
Chand rates the goal so highly because of the technique required.
He said: “The ball came to him so quickly and he just hit it.
“It was a great goal and brilliant to have witnessed it.”
Hughes played seven times for Nottingham Forest including a sub appearance in a 3-0 FA Cup defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. So he’s a good judge of a decent level of football – and he reckons that’s exactly what he’s getting at Carter’s Park.
He insists the squad can go on to achieve good things this season.
“What John Chand has done at this club should not be underestimated,” he said. “When I first played in the UCL with St Neots, we knew if we came to Holbeach on our mettle we could score plenty of goals.
“But John’s transformed the club from one in 14th or 15th place each season to one challenging for the title – and in a short space of time too.
“I truly believe that if we can keep going well then we’ll be in the mix for the title come April.
“You need everyone chipping in to bring success. And at Holbeach we don’t just rely on the strikers for goals. Mitch Griffiths, Andy Toyne, Craig Parker and Adam Jackson have all been getting in on it.”
And the employment of Jonny Allen as a striker last weekend impressed Hughes, who also has admiration for club captain Jamie Stevens with whom he played at Crawley Town in the Conference National.
Hughes also had a stint at Spalding United – and already has one eye on that mouthwatering Boxing Day clash between the Tigers and the Tulips.
Wednesday’s Lincs FA Senior Trophy quarter-final with Bourne Town was postponed due to a waterlogged Carter’s Park. Hopefully it will be in better fettle for the visit of Newport Pagnell Town on Saturday.